The search for missing 2-year-old Devon Davis ended on Saturday, March 31, when the little boy’s body was found in a lake down the road from the Davis family’s home in the Sam Houston Lake Estates subdivision in Tarkington Prairie.

“One of our volunteers was operating a remote-controlled drone aircraft on its third pass over the lake this morning when the instrumentation panel caught fire and it crashed into a tree,” said EquuSearch Coordinator Ken DeFoor.

“After it was found and recovered a few hours later, we were reviewing the footage from its camera and noticed an irregularity in the foliage of the lake near the pier,” he said.

The irregularity was a small spot of red, the same color as the shirt Devon had been wearing when he went missing on Tuesday, March 27.

DeFoor said an hour or so later, shortly after 2 p.m., a DPS helicopter flew low over the lake to clear the surface of debris and Devon’s body was found.

“It appears that he wandered down the road, possibly to play with neighborhood dogs, and fell off the pier,” said DeFoor. “The body was right next to the pier.”

DeFoor said the body did not have any signs of bruising, but an autopsy will be performed to find the official cause of death.

“At this time, it appears the cause was accidental drowning,” he said.

The surface of the water was covered with lily pads, dead tree limbs and other debris. Investigators believe the weight of the little boy’s diaper carried him straight to the bottom.

The search for Devon was only an hour away from being called off when his body was found.

Devon’s parents, April and Mike Davis, were devastated by the news.

“How do you survive something like this?” asked the toddler’s anguished father.

After hearing the news, April’s father, overcome by emotion, was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

An exhausted army of volunteers, fire department personnel, EquuSearch members and other emergency workers began the solemn task of dismantling the makeshift camp that had been the search command post for five long days and nights.

One of the Equusearch volunteers said in all his years of service, he had never seen such an outpouring of support by a community. Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Rex Evans agreed.

“I just want to thank all of the many people who came out to help with the search and who donated all of the food and drinks,” said Evans. “Everybody worked really hard. It’s really heartbreaking for it to end this way.”

Evans said his heart goes out to the Davis family for the tragic loss of their son.

A few hours after little Devon’s body was discovered, a shell-shocked Mike Davis said he was devastated, but grateful his son had been found.

“It’s closure,” said Mike. “At least we know where he is. That’s something.”

Mike said it was important to his family for all the people who helped with the search to know how grateful they are for their support and prayers.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “We want everyone to know how much we appreciate everything they’ve done.”

The Davis family had just moved to the area recently from Virginia, looking forward to a new start.